October, the tenth month of the current
Gregorian calendar and the second month of Autumn's rule, derives its name from octo, the Latin word meaning "eight," as October
was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar.
The traditional birthstone amulets
of October are opal, rose sapphire, and tourmaline; and the calendula is the month's traditional flower.
October is shared by the astrological signs
of Libra the Scales (or Balance) and Scorpio the Scorpion, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Cernunnos, Hecate, the Morrigan, Osiris, and the
Wiccan Goddess in Her dark aspect as the Crone.
During the month of October, the
Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Halloween (Samhain Eve), one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by
Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.
On this date (approximately), hundreds
of thousands of Muslims make a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca to kiss and touch the Black Stone (one of the original building blocks of a veiled shrine)
and to worship their god Allah. They then drink some water from the nearby sacred Well of Ishmael, and journey up into the
hills of Safa and Marwa to recite prayers.
Guiding Spirits Day. On this day,
light a white candle on you altar and give thanks to your spirit guide (or guides) for guarding over you and guiding you through
your spiritual development. If you wish to communicated with or meet your spirit guide, use a Ouija board or, through prayer,
invite the spirit guide to come to you in a dream or in a trance.
On this date (approximately), a Cementation
and Propitiation Festival was once celebrated by the Native American tribe of the Cherokee. The purpose of the festival was
to remove the barriers between the Cherokee people and the deities they worshiped.
On this date in ancient Rome,
a day of feasting known as the Jejunium Cereris was observed in honor of Ceres (Mother Earth), the corn-goddess and protectress
of agriculture and all fruits of the Earth.
The Festival of the Old Woman (Nubaigai) is celebrated annually on this date by farm workers in Lithuania.
The last sheaf of grain is dressed up as a woman and a festival of feasting, merriment, and games is held to honor the goddess
of the corn.
In the country of Rumania,
the Dionysiad wine festival was held annually on this date in honor of Dionysus, Ariadne, and the Maenads.
On this date, an annual nine-day
religious festival begins in Nepal to honor the great Hindu
god Vishnu and to celebrate his awakening on a bed of serpents. As part of an ancient tradition, secret offerings are made
to the god and placed in unripe pumpkins.
In the fifteenth century, peasants in Germany
celebrated a week-long festival called the Kermesse. A Pagan icon (or some other sacred object) would be unearthed from its
yearlong burial spot and then paraded through the village on top of gaily decorated pole. After a week of feasting, dancing, and games, the
villagers would dress up in their mourning attire and rebury the icon in its grave, where it would remain until the next year's
On this date in the year 1909, famous author and Gardnerian Witch Arnold Crowther was born in Kent,
England. He was initiated into the Craft in 1960 by Patricia
Dawson, whom he later married. He passed away on Beltane-Sabbat in the year 1974.
On this day, an annual good luck
festival called Chung Yeung Day (the Festival of High Places) is celebrated in China.
Traditionally good omen kites are flown to carry away evil spirits. The festival also commemorates an ancient Chinese scholar
named Huan Ching who, upon heeding the warning of a soothsayer, escaped with his family and friends high into the hills and
thereby avoided a mysterious plague of death which swept through the village below, killing every living thing in sight.
Day of Felicitas. A festival celebrating
the ancient Roman goddess of luck and good fortune was held annually on this date in many parts of Italy.
For many Wiccans and modern Witches, it is a time for casting spells and making amulets to attract good luck or to end a streak
of bad luck.
Throughout the country of Brazil,
the annual Festival of Light begins on this date. The centuries-old festival, which is celebrated for two consecutive weeks,
includes a parade of penance and the lighting of candles, torches, and hearth-fires to symbolically drive away the spirits of darkness who
bring evil and misfortune.
Every year on this date, Witches in the
countries of Denmark and Germany
honor the Old Lady of the Elder Trees, an ancient Pagan spirit who dwells within and watches over each and every tree of the elder family. Before cutting any branches to use
as magick wands, a libation of elderberry wine is poured onto the tree's roots and a special prayer is recited.
On this date in the year 1875, famous
occultists and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley was born in Warwickshire, England.
He authored many popular and controversial books on the subject of magick, and was notorious for his rites of sex magick,
ceremonial sorcery, and blood sacrifices. Crowley often referred to himself as
the Beast of the Apocalypse and was nicknamed The Wickedest Man in the world by the news media and by many who knew him personally.
He died on December 1, 1947, and after his cremation, his ashes were shipped
to his followers in the United States of America.
Also on this date in the year 1888,
famous ceremonial magician and occult author Eliphas Levi died.
On this date in the year 1917, the
Goddess in the guise of the Virgin Mary made her final visit (as promised earlier that year) to three children in the Portuguese
town of Fatima. She revealed many predictions to the children, and a crowd of
over 70,000 pilgrims who gathered for the miraculous event witnessed a strange object--resembling a huge silver disk blazing
with colored flames--fly through the sky.
On this date in ancient Rome,
a sacred harvest festival dedicated to the god Mars was celebrated with a chariot race, followed by the sacrifice of the slowest
horse. (Before becoming a god of battle, Mars was originally a deity associated with fertility and agriculture).
Each year on this date, the Festival
of the Goddess of Fortune (Lakshmi Puji) is celebrated in Nepal.
The goddess Lakshmi is honored with prayers, sacred chants, and offerings of flower petals and fragrant incense.
Once a year on this date, the Japanese
Shinto ceremony of Kan-name-Sai (God Tasting Event) takes place. The ancient goddess of the Sun and other imperial ancestors
are honored with an offering of rice from the season's first crop.
the Great Horned Fair takes place annually on this day to celebrate the wondrous powers of nature and fertility. Many Pagans
and Wiccans (especially of the Gardnerian tradition) perform a special ceremony on this day in honor of Cernunnos, the Horned
God of hunting, fertility, and wild animals. He is also the consort of the Goddess, and a symbol of the male principle. At
this time, many priests of Wiccan covens perform a sacred ritual called Drawing Down the Sun.
On this day, an annual fair called Bettara-Ichi
("Sticky-Sticky Fair") is held in Tokyo, Japan
near the sacred shrine of the god Ebisu. Children carry sticky pickled radishes tied to straw ropes through the streets in order to chase away evil spirits and to receive blessings from the seven Shinto
gods of good luck.
On this date in the year 1949, Wiccan priestess
and spiritual healer Selena Fox was born in Arlington, Virginia.
In 1974, with the help of Jim Alan and a small group of Neo-Pagan friends, she formed Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin.
She is known as one of the leading religious-freedom activists in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan movements.
In Japan, the purifying Festival
of Fire (Hi Matsuri) is celebrated annually on this night. A traditional torchlight procession parades through the streets
of Kurama and ends at a sacred shrine, where the ancient gods are believed to return to Earth at the stroke of midnight.
On this date (approximately), the
Sun enters the astrological sign of Scorpio. Persons born under the sign of the Scorpion are said to be magnetic, psychic,
imaginative, mysterious, and often prone to jealous obsessions. Scorpio is a water sign and is ruled by the planets Mars and
On this day, many Wiccans from around
the world celebrate the annual Feast of the Spirits of Air. Incense is offered up to the Sylphs (who often take the form of
butterflies), and rituals involving dreams and/or the powers of the mind are performed.
This day is sacred to Arianrhod,
Cardea, Dione, Diti, Gula, Lilith, Maat,
Shoemaker's Day is celebrated annually
on this date in honor of Saint Crispin, the patron of shoemakers who was beheaded in the third century A.D. According to legend,
a new pair of shoes bought on this day will bring good luck and prosperity to their owner.
Birthday of the Earth. According
to the calculations of a seventeenth century Anglican archbishop, the Earth was created on this date in the year 4004 BC.
On this date in the year 1440, Giles
de Rais (one of the most notorious necromancers in history) was hanged in France as punishment for practicing black magick
and making human sacrifices to the Devil, among other crimes.
Allan Apple Day. In Cornwall, England, an old Pagan method of love divination is traditionally
performed each year on this day. A single gentleman or lady who wishes to see his or her future spouse must sleep with an
Allan apple under his or her pillow, then get out of bed before the crack of dawn the next day. The person then waits under
a tree for the first person of the opposite sex to walk by. According to the legend, the passerby will be the future marriage
In ancient times, the Phoenician
sun-god Baal of the Heavens was honored annually on or around this date. He presided over nature and fertility, and was associated
with Winter rain. Sacred sun-symbolizing bonfires were lit in his honor by his worshipers in Syria. Depicted as a warrior
with a horned helmet and spear, he was once worshipped as the principal god on Earth for thousands of years.
In ancient Egypt, a series of Autumn
ceremonies for the goddess Isis began each year on this date. They lasted for six consecutive days.
On this date in the year 1939, ceremonial
magician and occult author Frater Zarathustra was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Frater founded the Temple of Truth in 1972
and was publisher and editor of the White Light (a magazine of ceremonial magick) from 1973 until it ceased publication in
On this day, the Native American
tribe of the Iroquois celebrate their annual Feast of the Dead to honor the souls of departed loved ones.
Each year on this date, the Angelitos
festival is held in Mexico to bless the souls of deceased children and to honor Xipe-Totec (the ancient god of death) and
Tonantzin (the Guadualupe goddess of mercy).
On this day, write a secret wish
on a piece of dried mandrake root. Burn it at the stroke of midnight in a fireproof container and then go outside and cast
the ashes to the wind as you say thrice: "Spirits of fire, spirits of air; grant this secret wishing-prayer. Let the ashes
of this spell, fix this midnight magick well."
Halloween (also known as Samhain
Eve, Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve, All Saint's Eve, Festival of the Dead, and the Third Festival of Harvest).
Every year on this day, the most
important of the eight Witches' Sabbats is celebrated by Wiccans throughout the world with traditional Pagan feasts, bonfires,
and rituals to honor the spirits of deceased loved ones. The divinatory arts of scrying and rune-casting are traditionally
practiced by Wiccans on this magickal night, as in standing before a mirror and making a secret wish.
The last night of October was the
ancient Celt's New Year's Eve. It marked the end of the Summer and the beginning of Winter (also known as the dark half of
In many parts of the world, special
cakes and food are prepared for the dead on this night.
In Ireland, a Halloween festival
is celebrated annually for the ancient Pagan goddess Tara.
This day is sacred to the goddesses
Cerridwen, Eurydice, Hecate, Hel, Inanna, Kali, the Morrigan, Nephthys, Oya, Samia, Sedna, Tara, and Vanadis. On this day
in the year 1970, the Parks Department of New York granted the Witches International Craft Associates (W.I.C.A.) a permit
to hold a "Witch-in". The event was held in Sheep Meadow and more than one thousand persons attended.
November, the eleventh month of the
current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Autumn's rule, derives its name from novem, the Latin word meaning "nine,"
as November was the ninth month of the old Roman Calendar.
The traditional birthstone amulet
of November is the topaz; and the chrysanthemum is the month's traditional flower.
November is shared by the astrological
signs of Scorpio the Scorpion and Sagittarius the Centaru-Archer, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Astarte, Calleach,
Hathor, Kali, Maman, and Sekhmet.
On this day in ancient Rome, the harvest-goddess of fruit trees, orchards, and all fruit-bearing plants was
honored with a festival called the Pomonia (Feast of Pomona) which marked the end of the growing season.
Many modern Witches celebrate the
day after the Halloween Sabbat with a feast commemorating fruition, maturity, immortality and resurrection.
All Saints' Day. This is one of the
most magickal and powerful days of the year to practitioners of Voodoo, and a time to perform rituals for spiritual strength
and protection against evil loas (spirit-gods).
In Latin America and Spain, the
Day of the Dead is celebrated on this date with offerings of food to honor the spirits of deceased loved ones.
A festival known as Cailleach's Reign is
celebrated annually on this date by many Pagans throughout Ireland and Great Britain
in honor of the ancient Celtic Crone-Goddess.
All Souls' Day. In England, small offerings known as soul cakes are traditionally set out for the dead every
year on this date.
According to folklore, this is considered
to be an extremely unlucky day for wedding ceremonies. Those who are wed on All Souls' Day are sure to be cursed with misfortune,
illness, divorce, or an early death.
On this date in the year 1324, a Witch
named Dame Alice Kyteler suffered death by fire in the first and most famous Witch trial to take place in Ireland.
Nine others were arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to various punishments.
the final day of the Isia takes place on this day. This annual festival celebrates the rebirth of the god Osiris through the
sacred and life-giving milk of Isis.
In ancient times, a Pagan festival honoring
the Lord of Death was celebrated in England every year on
this night (the Eve of Guy Fawkes Day). The bonfires and mischievous pranks associated with modern
England's Mischief Night are actually remnants of the old
Every year on this date, young men gather
in Shebbear, England, to turn a large
red rock called the Devil's Boulder. The centuries-old custom of turning the one-ton
rock (which was flung into the village square by the Devil himself, according to English folklore) conjures up ancient
magickal powers and brings peace and prosperity to the village.
On this day, the birth of Tiamat
( an ancient Babylonian goddess known as the Dragon Mother) is celebrated. According to mythology, Tiamat and her consort
Apsu gave birth to all the gods of the world, and the earth and the heavens were created from Dragon Mother's severed body.
a traditional witch-magick ritual is performed annually on this date. Banana peels and lotus leaves are made into little boats
and filled with candles and various offerings to the gods (such as incense, coins, and gardenia flowers).
Secret wishes are made as the "boats" are set adrift on a river, and if the candles keep burning until they are out of view,
the wishes are said to come true.
On this date in olden times, Old
November Eve was celebrated throughout the Scottish countryside. The goddess Nicnevin was honored with prayers and feasts,
and it was believed that she rode through the air and made herself visible to mortals on this night.
On this date (approximately) in the
year 1493, famous Hermetic philosopher and alchemist Paracelsus was born in Einsiedeln, Switzerland.
(However, other sources give his date of birth as December 17, 1493.)
Paracelsus possessed remarkable healing powers and believed in a universal natural magick. Contrary to many writings about
him, he was not a sorcerer or a practitioner of ceremonial magick (in fact, he was known to be rather skeptical of the so-called
Black Arts); however, he did believe in astrology and often used magickal astrological talismans (inscribed with planetary
symbols) in his medical practices. He died a mysterious death in Salzburg in the
An annual festival called the Epulum
Jovis in Capitola was celebrated on this date in ancient times in honor of Jupiter (the supreme god of the ancient Roman religion,
identified with the Greek god Zeus) and the goddesses Minerva and Juno. Animal sacrifices were made at temples in the city
of Rome and bonfires were set ablaze at sunset.
Back in medieval times, the thirteenth
day after the Witches' Sabbat of Halloween was considered a day of darkness, evil, and misfortune. It was believed to be a
time when necromancers and sorcerers of the left-handed path summoned up evil spirits and demons to assist them in their practice
of the Black Arts.
In some parts of the world, the old
superstition persists that if the thirteenth day after Halloween falls on a Friday, all persons born on that day will possess
the power of the evil eye.
On this date, an annual Druidic festival
known as the Feast of the Musicians is celebrated by many Wiccans to honor the ancient Celtic gods of music. Traditional Pagan
folk songs are sung around an open fire as various offerings are
cast into the flames.
At temples throughout India,
children gather annually on this day to receive divine blessings from the Children's Goddesses: Befana, Mayauel, Rumina, and
Ferona, an ancient goddess who presides
over fire, fertility, and woodlands, is honored annually on this day with a Pagan festival called the Feronia.
a centuries-old ritual for good health (Shichi-Go-San) is performed annually on this date in Shinto shrines. The ceremony
involves children who have reached the ages of three, five, and seven. At the end, the children are given candy blessed and
decorated with symbols of good fortune.
On this date in the year 1280, German
alchemist and ceremonial magician Albertus Magnus died. According to legend, he discovered the Philosopher's Stone and also
created a supernatural zombie-like servant using natural magick and astrological science.
On this date (approximately), the
annual Festival of Lights is celebrated in India to mark the
Hindu New Year. Candles are lit to honor Lakshmi (the goddess who presides over wealth, prosperity, and sexual pleasures),
and homes are decorated with ancient good-fortune ritual designs called kolams.
The last of three annual festivals
of death is observed in certain regions of China on this day
(approximately). Paper clothing and money labeled with the names of the dead are traditionally burned as offerings to ancestors
in the spirit world.
On this date in the year 1907, famous
occultists and author Israel Regardie was born in England.
He belonged to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and was a onetime secretary of Aleister Crowley. He wrote numerous books
which continue to be popular among Witches, Neo-Pagans, and practitioners of the occult arts. Regardie died in the year 1983.
Ardvi, a Persian goddess believed
to the Mother of the Stars, is honored annually on this date with a sacred festival called the Ardvi Sura (The Day of Ardvi).
The festival, which takes place under the nighttime stars, has been celebrated by the faithful in southwestern Asia
since ancient times.
Warlock Day. According to medieval
superstitious belief, the first stranger you meet on this day who is dressed in black from head to toe will be a warlock (a
male Witch). Take care not to look him directly in the eyes; otherwise you will become bewitched.
On this night, when the Pleiades
(a cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus) become visible to the naked eye, native rituals and celebrations begin
in Hawaii to mark the beginning of their harvest season and to honor and give
thanks to the ancient god Lono.
On this date (approximately), the
Sun enters the astrological sign of Sagittarius. Persons born under the sign of the Centaur-Archer are said to be optimistic,
enthusiastic, curious, and often outspoken and prone to exaggeration. Sagittarius is a fire sign and is ruled by the planet
On this day in England,
Saint Clement (the patron of ironworkers) is honored with elaborate rituals. However, in ancient times, this day was celebrated
with a Pagan feast in honor of the wizard-blacksmith of the Saxon deities.
a rice harvest celebration called the Shinjosai Festival for Konohana-Hime is held yearly on this date. It is dedicated to
the granddaughter goddess of the solar deity Amaterasu.
the annual festival known as Tori-No-Ichi takes place on or around this date. Traditionally, special bamboo rakes decorated
with symbols of good fortune are carried through the streets in order to attract benevolent spirits.
In ancient Egypt,
the sacred goddesses of light and birth were honored and invoked annually on or around this day with prayers, libations, and
the ritual burning of special lamps.
Windmill Blessing Day. In days of
old, many millers in Holland would bless their windmills on or around this date
each year by throwing a handful or two of flour into the wind as an offering to appease the mischievous invisible entities
known as the Windmill Spirits.
On this day (approximately), annual
manhood initiation rites are performed by young males in the Basari villages of Senegal.
The centuries-old ceremonies are followed by a joyous celebration of dancing, singing, and athletic competition.
A centuries-old fire festival takes
place every year on this day in Tibet. The festival is dedicated
to the ancient goddesses who rule
The Indian Mother-Goddess known as
Gujeswari is honored on or around this date each year by Buddhists and Hindus in Nepal.
Prayers are recited throughout the day, and a musical procession fills the streets with sacred songs after sunset.
a religious festival called the Parvati-Devi takes place on this day each year. It honor the triple goddess known as the Mother
of the Universe, whose three goddess aspects are Sarasvati (Maiden), Lakshmi (Mother), and Parvati (Crone).
Sophia, the ancient Greek goddess
of wisdom and inner truth, is honored and invoked annually on this day by cants, libations, and secret Pagan rituals performed
by those who seek to acquire arcane knowledge.
Each year on this night (according
to ancient legend), vampires in Rumania are believed to rise
up from their graves after a year-long sleep and walk the Earth in search of human blood. Garlic and crucifixes are hung on
and windows for protection.
In ancient Egypt,
the Feast of Hathor as Sekhmet was held each year on this day. It honored the lion-headed goddess of battle, who was also
the consort of the moon-god Ptah.
In many rural villages in Germany,
young women still perform traditional love-divinations on this night. Using various methods of fortune-telling, they read
omens and dreams to find out about their future husbands and marriages.
On this date in the year 1942, Otter
Zell (Pagan priest and the founder of The Church of All Worlds) was born in Saint Louis, Missouri.
December, the twelfth and final month
of the current Gregorian calendar and the first month Winter, derives its name from decem, the Latin word meaning "ten," as
December was the tenth month of the old Roman calendar.
The traditional birthstone amulets
of December are the blue zircon and turquoise; and holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia are the month's traditional flowers.
December is shared by the astrological
signs of Sagittarius the Centaur-Archer and Capricorn the Goat, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Attis, Dionysus, Frey, Freya (or Freyja), Kriss
Kringle (the Pagan god of Yule), Lucina, Woden, and the Wiccan Horned God (consort of the Wiccan Goddess).
During the month of December, the
Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to the Winter Solstice, one of the four Lesser Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans
and modern Witches throughout the world.
In some parts of the world, the first
day of December is the traditional time for young girls to perform the ancient art of cromniomancy (divination by onion sprouts)
to find out the name of their future husband.
To find out who your future husband
will be, take some onions and upon each one carve or write a different man's name. Place the onions near a fire and the man
whose name is on the onion that sprouts first will be the one.
In what is now known as Bodh Gaya,
India, the world's oldest and most sacred tree (planted in the year 282 B.C. and believed to be an offshoot of the Bodhi or
Bo-tree that the Buddha sat under when he achieved enlightenment) is honored annually on this date by Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims
with prayers, chants,
and brightly colored flags.
On this day, an annual women's festival
called Hari Kugo (Broken Needles) takes place in the city of Tokyo. It commemorates
women's crafts and is dedicated to all patron goddesses of Japanese craftswomen.
On this date in ancient Rome,
the goddess Minerva was honored with an annual festival. Minerva (the Roman counterpart of the Greek Athena) is a goddess
of battle and also a patroness of the arts and wisdom.
In West Africa,
this day is sacred to the Yoruban god Chango. He is a god of lightning bolts, and the son of the deities Yemaya and Orungan.
In ancient Greece,
an annual seaside festival (the Poseidea) was celebrated annually on this date to honor the sea-god Poseidon, consort of the
In Italy, the First Feast of Saint Lucia is held on this date each year. Before being Christianized into a Saint, she was
originally worshiped as Lucina, a Pagan goddess of light who also presided over childbirth.
On this day in the year 1890, famous
occultists and ritual magician Dion Fortune was born in Wales.
Although Ms. Fortune never proclaimed herself to be a Witch, her numerous writings are popular among (and inspiring to) many
modern Witches, Wiccans, and Neo-Pagans around the world. She died from leukemia
On this date in ancient Greece,
an annual rite called the Haloia of Demeter was performed. According to mythology, each year the goddess Demeter wanders the
earth in search of her stolen daughter Persephone. The goddess' sorrow brings Winter to the world and all trees and flowers
cease to bloom; however, Spring returns when Persephone is allowed to temporarily leave the darkness of the Underworld and Demeter once again rejoices.
The ninth day of the last month of
the year (along with the sixth and seventh days) is considered to be an extremely unlucky time, according to Grafton in his
Manuel (a sixteenth-century book of unlucky days as determined by professional star-gazers).
In Mexico, the healing virgin-goddess Tonantzin is honored on this day with an annual festival
called the Fiesta of the Mother of Health.
On this night (approximately), Inuit
hunters in the far north begin an annual five-day series of purification rites, followed by a propitiation ceremony under
the full moon, for the souls of the animals they had hunted in the last year. The December Moon ceremony has been performed
in the Arctic coastal regions of North America
Saint Lucia's Day. On this day, a candlelight festival is celebrated throughout Sweden.
The first-born daughter of each family wears a flowing white gown and a crown of candles around her head, obviously in reference
to the ancient Pagan symbols of fire and life-giving light. The daughter traditionally serves her mother and father breakfast
On this date in the year 1503, the
famous French prophet and astrologer Michel de Nostradamus was born in Saint Remy de Provence. He experienced many psychic
visions during his childhood, and he later studied the Holy Qabalah, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. The
first collection of his uncannily accurate visions, written in the form of rhymed quatrains, was published in the year 1555.
Three years later, a second and larger collection of his prophecies--reaching into the year 3979--was published. Nostradamus
died on July 1, 1566.
Halcyon Days. According to ancient
legend, the seven days before the winter solstice and the seven days following it are a special time of tranquility and calm,
due to the magickal powers of the halcyon (a fabled bird who nested on the sea and calmed the wind and the waves during the
In Puerto Rico, the Yule Child is honored by a religious festival called Navidades, which begins
annually on this day. It is celebrated until the sixth of January.
the Yule Child is honored by a religious festival called Posadas, which begins
annually on this day. It is celebrated until the twenty-fourth of December.
This day is sacred to the Pagan wisdom-goddesses
Athena, Kista, Maat, Minerva, the Shekinah, and Sophia.
The Soyal ceremony is celebrated
annually on this date (approximately) by the Native American tribe of the Hopi in the southwestern United
States. The rites of the Soyal celebrate the return of the sun (Life) and commemorate the
creation and rebirth of the Spider Woman and Hawk Maiden.
Saturnalia. The Roman god Saturn
was honored in ancient times during this annual midwinter festival, which began on this date and lasted until the twenty-fourth
of December. This was a week of feasting, merriment, gift-giving, charades, and the lighting of torches and candles.
On this day in Latvia,
the birth of the god Diev and the rebirth of the Sun is celebrated annually with a four-day winter festival. Houses are festively
decorated and traditional feasts are prepared to welcome the four gift-bearing celestial beings who are the heralds of the
On the second day of the Saturnalia,
the ancient Romans celebrated the Eponalia (a feast dedicated to Epona, the Celtic Mother-Goddess and a patroness of horses).
On the third day of the Saturnalia,
the ancient Romans celebrated the Opalia, a feast dedicated to Ops (Abundance), the harvest goddess of fertility and success,
and the consort of the god Saturn. This day was also sacred to the Roman fertility goddess Sabine.
The Hindu goddess Sankrant is honored
annually on this date (approximately) by a Hindu Solstice celebration called Pongol.
On this day in the year 1946, famous
Israeli psychic Uri Geller was born in Tel Aviv. He is renowned for his psychokinetic ability to bend metal objects by stroking
them with his fingers and to stop clocks simply by gazing upon them. His metal-bending and mind-reading abilities developed
at the age of five when he was accidentally shocked by his mother's electric sewing machine. He began his career as a full-time
professional stage performer in 1969.
On the first day of winter (which
normally occurs on or near this date), the Winter Solstice Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world.
Winter Solstice (which is also known as Yule, Winter Rite, Midwinter, and Alban Arthan) is the longest night of the year,
marking the time when the days begin to grow longer and the hours of darkness decrease. It is the festival of the Sun's rebirth,
and a time to honor the Horned God. (The aspect of the God invoked at this Sabbat by certain Wiccan traditions is Frey, the
Scandinavian fertility god and a deity associated with peace and prosperity.) Love, family togetherness, and accomplishments
of the past year are also celebrated. On this Sabbat, Witches bid farewell to the Great Mother and welcome the reborn Horned
God who rules the dark half of the year.
On this date (approximately), the
Sun enters the astrological sign of Capricorn. Persons born under the sign of the Goat are said to be ambitious, practical,
loyal, and often reclusive. Capricorn is an earth sign and is ruled by the planet Saturn.
On this date in the year 1970, famous
Wiccan authors Stewart and Janet Farrar founded their own coven. The Farrars, a husband and wife team, have written many popular
Witchcraft books together.
In early times, a Pagan religious
ceremony called the Laurentina was held in Rome each year on this date. It celebrated
the recovery of light from the darkness of the winter solstice, and was dedicated to the goddess Acca Laurentia or Lara (the
mother of the Lares).
The demigod Balomain is honored annually
by the Kalash people with a weeklong festival called the Chaomos, which begins on this date.
Christmas Eve. According to Finnish
folklore, the ghosts of departed loved ones return home each year on this night. It is a Christmas Eve tradition in Finland
and in many other parts of Europe for families to light white candles on the graves of their ancestors.
According to superstition, if a man
proposes to his beloved on Christmas Eve and she accepts, they will surely enjoy a happy and love-filled marriage.
Birthday of the Invincible Sun (Dies
Natalis Invicti Solis). Before being Christianized as the Mass of Christ (Christmas), a festival honoring the god of the sun
was celebrated on this day in ancient Rome. It was made a public holiday by the
Emperor Aurelian in the year A.D. 272 and consisted of the
lighting of sacred bonfires.
On Christmas Day, according to German
folklore, a Yuletide Witch known as the Lutzelfrau flies through the sky on her broom, bringing mischief to mortals who fail
to honor her with small presents. Another Yuletide Witch of German folklore is Perchta. In the southern regions of the country,
it was an old Yuletide custom for children wearing masks and carrying besoms (Witch brooms) to go door to door (in "trick
or treat" fashion) begging for gifts in the name of Perchta.
On this day, the first day of Yuletide
begins. It continues until the Twelfth-day (January 6).
The Junkanoo festival takes place
annually on this day in the Bahama Islands. Old gods are honored and ancient magick is reinvoked as
music, dancing, and costumed marchers fill the streets until the crack of dawn.
This day is sacred to various deities
from around the world. Among them are Frau Sonne, Igaehindvo, the Star Faery, Sunne, and Yemaya.
On this day in the year 1959, Gerina
Dunwich (eclectic Witch, professional astrologer, and author of many Witchcraft books, including the one you are now reading)
was born in Chicago, Illinois under the sign of
Capricorn with a Taurus rising.
The birth of Freya (the Norse goddess
of fertility, love, and beauty) is celebrated on this day. Annual Pagan festivals in her honor are celebrated throughout the
world by many Wiccans of the Saxon tradition.
On this day, an annual festival of
peace and spiritual renewal is celebrated in parts of China.
Offerings are made to gods and spirits, and a paper horse containing the names of all the members of the temple is set on
fire in the ancient Taoist belief that the rising smoke will take the names up to heaven.
During this period, the eight-day
Jewish Festival of Lights (also known as Hanukkah or Chanukah) is observed by Jews throughout the world. On each night of
the festival, one additional candle is lit on a ceremonial nine-branched candelabrum called a menorah.
In ancient Greece,
a Pagan religious festival called the Day of Nymphs was celebrated on this day in honor of Andromeda, Ariadne, and Artemis
(the Greek counterpart of the goddess Diana).
On this date in the year 1916, Rasputin
(a famous Russian mystic monk, occultist, and court magician) was assassinated by his enemy Prince Feliks Yusupov. Rasputin,
who was drowned in the frozen NevaRiver,
presaged his own death.
New Year's Eve. The modern custom
of ringing bells and blowing horns to usher in the new year at is actually
derived from the old Pagan custom of noisemaking to scare away the evils of the old year.
In certain parts of Japan,
young men put on grotesque demon masks and costumes made of straw and go door to door collecting donations of money, rice
cakes, and sake. This traditional New Year's Eve custom serves to drive out the demons of misfortune and ensure an abundant
harvest for the new year.